Each opportunity to meet someone new in your industry is another opportunity to advance your knowledge, develop your career, expand your thinking or just increase your professional connections.

The Hyatt Regency was specifically selected to create a relaxed atmosphere. You will enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean while you are able to openly discuss relevant gaming topics, emerging technologies and “CONNECT” with peers representing more than 40 non-competing properties from around the country.

In addition to informative sessions, speakers and networking opportunities; there will be a demo room and for those of you who have gift based loyalty marketing programs, there will be a 3,000 + square foot showroom merchandised with over 85 new continuity and gift programs

This is a must-attend event if you are tired of the old conference format, recycled content and being stuck inside.


Please contact your Account Executive for more information &
your discount code before registering.

Presenter Bios

Mark Ditteaux

CEO, Mark-it Smart

As President and CEO of Mark-it Smart, Inc Mark Ditteaux brings 21 years of sales and marketing experience to the company he founded. Mark-it Smart is the top loyalty marketing and incentive merchandise supplier in the gaming industry, serving more that 196+ corporate and Native American casino clients. Mark has traveled the country extensively, developing and implementing data driven loyalty marketing programs, specifically for the gaming industry. Mark-it Smart has been recognized by INC.5000 and the Orange County Business Journal as one of the fastest-growing private companies 3 years running. Mark is a graduate of Radford University in Virginia with a BA in Marketing, as well as minors in Mathematics and Psychology. Mark currently resides in Southern California with his wife of fifteen years and their two children. When not working with casino clients around the country or attending industry events, Mark enjoys traveling with his family, surfing around the world and skiing the deep powder of Utah.

Ann Simmons Nicholson

CEO, Simmons Group

CEO and Founder of the Simmons Group, Ann Simmons Nicholson is recognized as an expert in Strategic Planning, Talent Management, Human Resources, Organizational Development and Training in non-profit, government and private industry. Having opened, expanded or transitioned from one owner to another over 50 hotel casinos, manufacturers, cruise ships, water parks and furniture marts during her career, she has worked with all the major players in the gaming industry including: MGM, Station Casinos, Scientific Games, Caesars, and numerous Tribal Gaming Entities. Her work has encompassed all areas of strategic talent planning and talent management.

Amy Hunter

Managing Partner, Simmons Group

Amy has worked for more than thirteen years in the areas of organizational development, human resources and training. Her work has included a broad range of technical functions such as human resources, employee training and development, management and supervisory training, strategic planning and communications. Amy is recognized as a professional who becomes invaluable to clients very quickly. She evaluates and assesses strengths and challenges within an organization and develops partnerships to guarantee maximum results.

Rikki Tanenbaum

CMO, San Manuel Casino

Rikki Tanenbaum joined San Manuel Casino in 2018 as the Chief Marketing Officer. In her current position, Tanenbaum leads revenue generation functions including strategic marketing, casino marketing, brand marketing and entertainment. Prior to joining San Manuel Casino, she was Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Gaming Division for Landry’s Golden Nugget Casinos. Tanenbaum has spent her career in the casino and hospitality industry, and has led marketing teams at MGM Resorts International, Viejas Casino & Resort, Penn National Gaming, and Caesars Entertainment. Tanenbaum received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Master of Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She also holds a Master of Business Administration from Duke University. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of The Animal Foundation’s Board in Las Vegas and also serves as Chair of the Global Advisory Board of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV.

Suzanne Trout

CMO, Foxwoods Resort Casino

Suzanne Trout joined the Foxwoods Resort Casino team July 2017 as Chief Marketing Officer, leading all brand, marketing and communications. An industry veteran, Suzanne leverages twenty-plus years of results-driven integrated marketing experience to help drive brand growth and improve market share. As Chief Marketing Officer, Suzanne oversees all facets of Foxwoods’ marketing, including Player Development, International Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, Bus/Junket Marketing, Entertainment, Events and Promotions, Brand & Advertising, Media Relations and Digital Marketing.

Tim Furlong

Managing Partner, Simmons Group

For almost two decades Tim has refined his techniques as a speaker, trainer, executive coach, and strategic partner to create maximum results for individuals and organizations committed to excellence in the hyper-accelerated era of modern business culture. A nationally recognized speaker Tim spends over 200 days on the road delivering high impact sessions around succession planning, executive development, presentation skills, team building, sales training, organizational communication, coaching, leadership, and emotional intelligence.

Doug Burr

Digital Marketing Director, Cord Media Company

Doug Burr serves as Cord Media’s digital marketing director, leading all digital strategies and solutions for its clients. With extensive experience in hospitality, casino, and entertainment, Burr is able to provide clients with targeted opportunities based on their goals that deliver results. Previously, he served as marketing manager at Riviera Palm Springs, A Tribute Portfolio Resort. Prior to that, he spent six years as Internet marketing manager at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, where he was responsible for online strategies, pay-per-click and search engine optimization, as well as managing the casino’s online presence across multiple social media sites. Burr also spent three years as an account executive and online marketing specialist at Kiner Communications. He attended University of California, San Diego studying communications, interdisciplinary computing and arts.

Mark Astone

CFO, Catalyst Marketing Company

As Chief Executive Officer, Mark Astone is involved in all critical decisions at the top ranked Catalyst Marketing Company; a full service marketing company. Mark’s primary responsibilities are two-fold: to ensure that clients receive quality service and to grow the business and market client base. Mark assists in the market planning for many of the clients, and ensures that the company has the appropriate level of resources assigned to an account so that client expectations are exceeded. With decades of experience, Mark plays an active role as senior consultant to many of our Gaming and Hospitality clients including North Star, Table Mountain, Soaring Eagle, Cliff Castle and Hilton Hawaiian Village to name a few.

Stephanie Huckel

Senior Global Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion at IGT

Stephanie Huckel is the Senior Global Program Manager for Diversity & Inclusion at IGT, a global innovation leader in the gaming industry, including commercial gaming, lotteries, interactive and social gaming, and sports betting. In this role, Stephanie collaborates with internal business units and process owners to develop and deploy the company’s first Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) strategy. Prior to her work at IGT, Stephanie played a critical role in the development and execution of the D&I function at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Baystate Health, in western Massachusetts.

Marcelo Guerra

Head of Digital Strategy & Growth Marketing

For 15 years, Marcelo has been part of the rise of social media, digital content, and marketing automation. Leading agency and network teams, he has collaborated on award-winning and record-breaking theatrical releases and TV premieres.

Greg Chase

Founder & Chief Thought Provoker, Experience Strategy Associates

Greg J. Chase, named Top 10 Most Influential Individuals in Customer Experience & Customer Loyalty, is the Founder & Chief Thought Provoker for Experience Strategy Associates: a boutique consulting group he founded to help organizations translate the voice of the customer into actionable strategies and partnering with clients to ensure success. With over 15 years of hospitality experience, Greg most recently served as the Corporate Vice President of Guest Strategy & Insights for MGM Resorts International, where he was responsible for designing, measuring and implementing the guest experience strategy for all 30+ MGM Resorts properties worldwide. Greg was included in Vegas INC’s 2018 40 Under 40 Awards, which honors “Influential young Las Vegans who are helping improve Southern Nevada.” Greg also serves as the Chairman of the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Foundation and on the Board of Directors for the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association. Greg is also proud to share his vast expertise as a faculty member of UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.


Make Fans Not Followers – How to Create and Measure Real Engagement on Social Media

KEYNOTE: Suzanne Trout - CMO - Foxwoods Resort Casino

In this session, we will define "organic social media engagement", identify what social channels work best for different customer segments, review the 80/20 rule on content versus sales, discuss how to measure engagement and real tangible KPIs, define and discuss reputation management, and review tenants of real engagement (be authentic, relatable, inspirational, take a stand – it’s about them, not you)..

Marketing Strategies For Diversity And Inclusion

MODERATOR: Tim Furlong - Managing Partner - Partner Simmons Group
PANELIST: Suzanne Trout - CMO - Foxwoods
PANELIST: Mark Astone - CFO - Catalyst Marketing Company
PANELIST: Stephanie Huckel - Senior Global Program Manager - IGT

In this session, we will feature people and agencies with lessons and success in marketing around inclusion as well as how diversity can enhance the internal culture and brand experience.

Are Big Promotions Dead? How to Make Every Day Count in Your Marketing Calendar

KEYNOTE: Rikki Tanenbaum - CMO - San Manuel Casino

In this keynote, we will discuss the decline of the "big promotion" to drive business replaced by incentives that drive immediate gratification (e.g., free play and gifts), offer laying and offer testing, and how to make promotions work hard. We will also touch on how Millennials are a population of 80 Million and they don’t love traditional casino gambling. As this generation moves into their thirties, we will discuss how casinos are adapting to meet this audience.

Today's Perfect Storm In Recruitment And Retention

KEYNOTE: Ann Simmons Nicholson - President - Simmons Group

With the unemployment rate nationally at 3.8%, the lowest it’s been since March 2001, many companies are being forced to find new ways to attract quality candidates and retain them. Simmons Group believes one solution to the recruitment and retention challenge is attracting more women and underrepresented individuals in the workforce. As you navigate your recruitment and retention strategy, Ann will walk you through some considerations to attract this specific population.

Winning Media Mix…In the Digital Age Where And How To Reach Customers

MODERATOR: Tim Furlong - Managing Partner - Partner Simmons Group
PANELIST: Doug Burr - Digital Marketing Director - Cord Media
PANELIST: Marcelo Guerra - Big Picture Group
PANELIST: Mark Astone - CFO - Catalyst
PANELIST: Greg Chase - Founder & Chief Thought Provoker - Experience Strategy Associates

Identifying the right media mix in any situation can be challenging. In this panel, the panelist will discuss how to determine a media mix between traditional and digital spends, illustrate how attribution works to measure how channels work together, and examples of integrated media plans and BDPs.

Why Gifts Work…And How To Make Them Work Better

MODERATOR: Ann Simmons Nicholson - Simmons Group

It’s time to bring all you’ve learned together for our final session! In this last 60 minutes of our time together, you will be given a scenario to share BDPs and enhance your promotions and walk away with tools for you to potentially implement in your own property!


Sunday August 11, 2019 - DAY 1 Event Location
4:00 PM Hotel Check-In & Arrival Hyatt Regency
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Hosted Welcome Cocktail Reception & Networking Dinner California Courtyard
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM After Hours Social Pete's Sunset Grille
Monday August 12, 2019 - DAY 2 Event Location
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM Yoga Hosted
by Cord Media
Vista Terrace
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Meeting & Showroom Opens
by Appointment
Vista Ballroom and Foyer
9:00 AM - 9:10 AM Introduction/Kick Off
Presented by Mark-it Smart / Simmons Group
Huntington South
9:10 AM - 9:55 AM Make Fans Not Followers – How to create and Huntington South measure real engagement on social media
Presented by Suzanne Trout with Foxwoods Resort Casino
Huntington South
10:05 AM - 11:05 AM Marketing Strategies for Diversity and Inclusion
Panel Discussion
Huntington South
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM Are Big Promotions Dead? How to make every Huntington South day count in your marketing calendar
Presented by Rikki Tanenbaum with San Manuel Casino
Huntington South
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Hosted Networking Lunch California Courtyard
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM Group Activities – Competitive Networking Team California Courtyard Tournament w/ Prizes & Bragging Rights California Courtyard
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Hosted Networking Dinner With Live Music California Courtyard
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM Cocktails and Networking - Group Trivia & Karaoke Hyatt Red Chair Lounge
Tuesday August 13, 2019 - DAY 3 Event Location
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM Yoga Hosted
by Cord Media
Vista Terrace
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Meeting & Showroom Opens
by Appointment
Vista Ballroom and Foyer
9:00 AM - 9:50 AM Today's Perfect Storm in Recruitment & Retention
Presented by Ann Simmons Nicholson with Simmons Group
Huntington South
10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Winning Media Mix…in the digital age where Huntington South and how to reach customers
Panel Discussion
Huntington South
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Why Gifts Work…and how to make them work better
Panel Discussion / Working session
Huntington South
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Hosted Networking Lunch
California Courtyard
California Courtyard
5:00 PM - 6:45 PM Huntington Street Fair Main St. Downtown
Huntington Beach
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Hosted Networking Dinner Ola Mexican Kitchen
(Pacific City)
9:00 PM Closing Group Social Tanner's Rooftop Bar & Bungalow
Wednesday August 14, 2019 Event Location
11:00 AM Hotel Check-Out and Back to Reality Hyatt Regency

Here's What You Missed in 2018


The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
21500 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Hyatt Regency - Left View
Hyatt Regency - Front View
Hyatt Regency - Right View
Hyatt Regency - Overview

Our nearest airports are:

John Wayne Airport (SNA)
18601 Airport Way, Santa Ana, CA 92707
13 miles / 20 minutes
Long Beach Airport (LGB)
4100 Donald Douglas Dr. Long Beach, CA 90808
17 miles / 25 minutes
Los Angeles Airport(LAX)
1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045
35 miles / 45 minutes



Come be a part of this exclusive invitation only event

Contact us today to learn more:

Anita Soto


Don't miss out and book your spot today!


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